Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve

genre: young adult science fiction/steampunk

Fever knows a lot of things - she knows the laws of physics, can recite the prime numbers and can tinker with engines.  Found orphaned as a baby, Fever was raised by the members of the very logical Order of Engineers and, as the only girl, learned early that feelings are irrational and that everything one does should have a reasonable purpose. Of course, living in a very disorderly and illogical future London makes this very difficult.  When a local archeologist comes to the Order requesting Fever's assistance with unearthing some ancient technology, her first real assignment turns into the kind of adventure that can change everything.  And before her story is over, she'll know more about herself than she'd ever imagined there was to know.

I can't decide how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is pretty crazy brilliant.  This riotous and violent steampunk London is rich with tidbits of our modern day that are very entertaining.  Their pseudo-technology and keen interest in our own day just make for interesting reading. I think my problem was that I never felt truly invested in Fever or even, really, the plot.  Near the end of the book I started caring about her but it just took a long time for me to be really engaged in the story.  Things moved slowly.  I guess though, that it was interesting enough that I couldn't bring myself to return it to the library until I knew how it ended.

The last fifth of the book is what's making me give it three stars instead of two.  There was a lot more action in the end and the characters started opening up, but there isn't any sort of romantic storyline, if you're a reader that really needs that.  If you really like steampunk, though, I think I would say that this is a worthy work in the genre.

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